The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 25, 2013

A Don McCormack column: 'I've been given a gift'

One month ago tomorrow, Ron Cramer lay down dead on an Ashtabula street. Now, he vows to live each and every day to its fullest


Glass half full

Forever the optimist, Ron prefers to look forward as opposed to back.

We all want to live forever, but die instantly. Ron Cramer has done the latter. Now, he’s back working on the former.

“Yes, I died. But I’m back, with a vengeance! My goal is to live to 100!” the man who will turn 60 on Oct. 23 said.

He admits while starting on the road back at the pace of the tortoise and not the hare, having to don the wearable defibrillator, watch his diet more closely and take a handful of medications, is not preferred, it is acceptable.

“Hey, it sure beats the alternative!” he says, breaking into another of his fill-up-the-room laughs.

And a lifetime spent writing lesson plans and sermons, it comes as no surprise Ron has set a definitive goal to work toward.

“My goal is to get back in time to do the Run For the Grapes 5K (Sept. 29, in downtown Geneva) — that’s what I’m shooting for, anyway,” he said. “Like I said, I walk and I run. My average time for a 5K is probably around 38 minutes. It’s not like I’m doing it for the competition. I’m doing it because I love doing it.”

Waves of support

Ron knows he wouldn’t be alive to tell his story without not only all those who helped him that day — a month ago tomorrow — but the many who have offered encouragement and support every day since.

“I appreciate everyone’s continued prayers and support,” he said. “Each day is a new adventure. And I plan on taking advantage of and relishing each and every single day.”

And while he almost was called home, Ron’s attitude toward existence and what comes afterward have not changed. It’s almost as if he knows... he knows heaven is, after all, a place where we find what is missing here on earth — a fulfillment of all that we’ve lost.

But it wasn’t his time. And, armed and empowered with that, which is pretty much the ultimate weapon, Ron Cramer understands and expresses that way to realize our dreams of tomorrow is to do all we can to live them today.

He knows those of us who get what we want aren’t the fortunate ones. No, the fortunate ones are those who do what they are destined.

“I have to keep a positive attitude because, really, when you come right down to it, I am so totally and completely blessed to even be here,” he said.

“This truly is a gift... a gift I will forever cherish the rest of my life.”

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at

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